About this project
Q is for Queens is an ABC book filled with the amazing, strange and world-famous icons of New York's biggest borough.
/////////// The stretch goal /////////////
Since posting Q is for Queens for your support, the project caught fire. Not only did we surpass our goal in a few days but I've heard from a litany of influential Queens elected officials and cultural institutions with their support.
We can go further than printing this thing. We can put Q is for Queens and all the varied, interesting, peculiar, famous and historic icons from Queens in the museums, schools and libraries all over the borough.
In this age of digital, a beautiful, hardback illustrated printed book is a monument to ideas. If we believe in the story it tells -- about our borough -- then lets get hundreds of copies of the book installed in every place the kids and public learn about their history, culture, and community.
We need to reach $35,000. Help.
So the stretch goal - spread the word, tell your friends, we need their help -- if we reach $35,000 pledged we will be able to reward every backer AND get a copy of the book into every Queens arts institution, museum, school and library. We did the math, contacted some folks, and they are ready to receive our entry into the Queens logbooks. So let's get out there!
/////////////// The original post ///////////
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Hi there, I'm Amol. Lifelong New Yorker. Born and raised in Queens. I've lived in Jamaica, Little Neck, Long Island City.
I've roamed the streets of Forest Hills, Jackson Heights, Flushing, Astoria, Rockaway. Had lemon ice in Corona. Made giant bubbles at the Hall of Science. Seen the Mets lose and win (1986!).
I rode the LIRR to high school in "the city", told people I grew up near Gatsby's house in West Egg, fell asleep on the 7 round trip, bought my first computer on Northern Boulevard, remember when Western Beef was as awe-inspiring as the Whole Foods. Been to the Steinway Piano factory. Archie Bunker's house. Snuck into the US Open. Everyman's Hamptons in Rockaway. The Goodfellas tiki bar. "I am Queens Boulevard!" The LIE traffic. The "Men in Black" towers at the World's Fair. The cricket matches in Flushing Meadow park.
Utopia Parkway, anyone? Roosevelt? The Cross Island? Woodside? You know it.
If you are reading this far, maybe you've got fond feelings for this stuff too.
So maybe you think like I do that our borough needs a little more love and respect to go with its NYC siblings. I've met too many "New Yorkers" who are like "I've never been to Queens". And now that I have two cute kids I want them to know what they should talk about. Queens rules!
What are we making
We're going to make a beautifully illustrated hardcover children's book. I've been assembling images and Queens icons for quite some time now, and have started the artwork too.
When it's done we are going to print it on gorgeous amazing hardcover and archival stock, and mail it to you. So you can remind yourself and the kids in your life about the A to Z of Queens with Q is for Queens.
I've got the art part figured out and most of the icons sorted - so that part is well on its way. I still need to find the right printer to partner with here in Queens, so hopefully that part goes well.
A is for Arthur Ashe, B is for Bayside, C is for Cyndi Lauper...R is for Ramones or maybe Rockaway or maybe both! Lots to do as you can see.
Why are we making it
If you are wondering why Queens needs a sweet collection of iconic images, posters and memorabilia all wrapped together in a little volume for the next-generation -- well, let's not go there.
Any borough that was home to Mae West, John Gotti, Jack Kerouac, and Dr. Jay pretty much has to have a book like this. And you need to be part of it!
Who are we
I gave you a feel for this already I think. But I really was born and raised in Queens. My parents are immigrants (like maybe 70% of Queens residents right?) and when I was born we lived in Jamaica. My brothers and I were halfway grown when we moved to Little Neck/Douglaston/Bayside (for the schools!) and I actually went to high school in the city. When I went off to college I swear I thought I'd never live in Queens again -- tall Manhattan something for me! -- but it was a very short time before I was back. This time in the starting-to-be-hip part -- Long Island City. I live here now and love it.
I've been part of a ton of Queens stuff. I started a blog called LICNYC -- www.licnyc.com which is the oldest LIC blog -- and helped a bunch of Queens organizations like the Queens Paideia School (an experimental school) and the Coalition for Queens (which tries to bring more opportunity and jobs from the tech world to Queens, link). I even helped to build a building in Queens and make it awesome -- East of East (www.eastofeast.com). I work from The Oracle Club often, which is a writer's room in LIC. And a lot of my family still lives around Queens in Forest Hills and Little Neck and thereabouts.
I've assembled some friends -- writers, illustrators, filmmakers, plain old regular awesome people, and hopefully YOU. We are working on this together.
So why is this a Kickstarter?
I could probably come up with all the ideas and print up the book myself. But then it wouldn't have YOUR ideas in it. And that would be missing awesome stuff.
And even worse, you wouldn't get a copy. How on earth are you going to hear about this thing? On the local news? Well here you are. Welcome. Now you have heard about Q is for Queens and if you back it you will get a copy (or ten!)
So HELP MAKE Q IS FOR QUEENS. Be a co-author. Or an idea-giver. Or just a fan. Help! Your borough needs you.
The plan and budget
The plan is pretty simple. From March 15 to April 15 we will finish all the drawings and art. Then off to the press! I think we'll safely be able to ship by June sometime. I'm expecting lots of help from artists, designers and editors who are all over Queens. If you have a friend who prints stuff in Queens that would be AMAZING (like the Mets?). Let me know.
I haven't chosen a printer yet but there are some great ones in LIC. I will work with them on the paper sourcing and printing approach. I haven't chosen all this stuff yet so I'm not 100% sure on how long the prep will be there. But it will get done! Thinking of folks like Big City Graphix. Let me know if you have other suggestions.
Risks and challenges
The main thing is printing. I want to make sure we find a printer who can do the right quality at a good cost. I think we are fine here but if we need to re-work the printing that could be some work. I suspect that we have ample time in the schedule for this though -- from April 15 to end of June we'll definitely get it sorted out.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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